Oct 30 2012 2:00pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Towers of Midnight, Part 24

The Wheel of Time reread on Tor.com: Towers of Midnight, Part 24Happy All Hallows’ Eve Eve, WOTerians! Have a Wheel of Time Re-read!

Today’s entry covers Chapter 43 and 44 of Towers of Midnight, in which mustelidae are bagged, falconidae and accipitridae are compared, and certain homo sapiens get schmoopy.

I apologize in advance if this entry is less than scintillating, as I am currently half-dead with what had BETTER be a very swiftly passing head cold, because I do not have time for this can’t-look-at-computer-screens-or-indeed-anything-for-longer-than-ten-minutes-at-a-time shit. Ow.

Previous re-read entries are here. The Wheel of Time Master Index is here, which has links to news, reviews, interviews, and all manner of information about the Wheel of Time in general, including the upcoming final volume, A Memory of Light.

This re-read post contains spoilers for all currently published Wheel of Time novels. If you haven’t read, read at your own risk.

And now, the post!

Short note before we begin: I note that some folks have been expressing concerns in the comments about whether the Re-read will be done with TOM before AMOL is released, to which I say: Slow your roll, my peeps. Your Auntie Leigh has got you.

Rest assured, y’all, I will finish TOM before the end of the year, and I will have an advance review of AMOL for you guys before then too. So rest easy, okay?

Okay! Onward!


Chapter 43: Some Tea

What Happens
As they walk through the aftermath of the battle, Galad questions Perrin about the Asha’man, and reflects that Perrin is interesting in that he responds so well to frank honesty from Galad. Galad has accepted Healing from an Aes Sedai, reasoning that there was no point in not committing to the alliance fully. Perrin points out that while they can’t be sure the taint is really cleansed, there’s no point in disbelieving Grady and Neald until there’s a reason to, especially considering they probably saved Galad and all his men’s lives. Galad acknowledges this, but warns Perrin few of his men will do the same.

“Still think I set them up somehow?”

“Perhaps,” Galad said. “Either you are a Darkfriend of unsurpassed cunning, or you really did as you said—coming to save my men despite your treatment at our hands. In that case, you are a man of honor. Letting us die would have made your life much easier, I believe.”

“No,” Perrin said. “Every sword is needed at the Last Battle, Galad.
Every one.”

Then Perrin suddenly freezes and then hurries across the field, where he unearths a wounded but alive Whitecloak (Jerum) from under a pile of Trolloc corpses. Jerum cries with joy at his rescue, and asks how they found him. Perrin replies that he has good ears, and helps Galad carry a now unconscious Jerum to where the Aes Sedai and Wise Ones are tending to the wounded. A Wise One grudgingly asks permission of Galad to Heal Jerum, since Perrin had upheld Galad’s demand that all his men be given the choice to refuse Healing. Galad says to Heal Jerum, and notes that the Wise One looks exhausted. Perrin makes Galad an offer: he can have him and all his men in Andor tonight. Galad says that his men would not trust Traveling, but Perrin counters that they would if Galad ordered them to. Galad asks if Perrin would have the Children join him, then, and Perrin confirms it, but adds that he will need an oath from Galad first, to swear to accept Perrin as his commander at the Last Battle until it is over. Galad asks if Perrin understands how outrageous that is, and Perrin replies that if Galad wants to be sure of getting to the Last Battle, this is the best way. He adds that if Perrin leaves the Children behind, Rand might come back to get them, and that Galad will find it much harder to say no to Rand than to him, nor will he like the results as much. Galad considers the compassion Perrin had showed when he rescued Jerum, and decides no Darkfriend could feign that.

“You have my oath,” Galad said. “To accept you as my military commander until the end of the Last Battle.” He suddenly felt weaker than he had before, and he released a breath, then sat on a nearby rock.

“And you have my oath,” Perrin said. “I’ll see your men cared for like the others. Sit here and rest a spell; I’ll search that patch over there. The weakness will pass soon.”


Perrin nodded. “I know what it’s like to be caught up in the needs of a ta’veren. Light, but I do.”

He asks Galad if he ever wondered why he and Perrin ended up in the same place, and Galad replies that he assumed it was because the Light put them there to punish Perrin. Perrin shakes his head, and says that it was because apparently Perrin needed them to be there, and leaves.

Berelain, Faile, and Alliandre sit rolling bandages for the wounded, and Alliandre wonders why the other two have suddenly begun acting like they are friends when it is completely obvious to her that they still can’t stand each other. Berelain admits to Faile that she was wrong about Perrin, and then walks off when she and Faile notice Alliandre eavesdropping. Faile notes to Alliandre that Berelain does not like being wrong.

“She sees the world as a network of half-truths and inferences, ascribing complex motivations to the simplest of men. I suspect it makes her very good at court politics. But I wouldn’t want to live that way.”

“She’s very wise,” Alliandre said. “She does see things, Faile. She understands the world; she merely has a few blind spots, like most of us.”

Faile comments that what grates on her is that she chased Perrin more for the sport of it than anything else; she could have understood if Berelain had been genuinely in love with Perrin. Perrin arrives from the field, looking exhausted, and Faile goes to him. Alliandre leaves them alone and goes to stand with Berelain. She comments that Faile and Perrin are good for each other; Berelain replies that every relationship needs to be challenged, and that Perrin is not her only opportunity to make a connection to the Dragon Reborn. Alliandre observes that her earlier show of frustration was mostly for Faile’s benefit, to assure her the threat had passed, and smiles at Berelain’s cleverness. Alliandre asks whether marriage is all politics and sport for Berelain, or if there is room for love as well. Berelain declares that love is for those who do not rule, but trails off mid-speech as Galad Damodred enters the clearing; Alliandre observes that the Whitecloak is ridiculously handsome.

“I… What was I saying?” Berelain asked, eyes on Damodred.

“That there is no place for romance in a leader’s life?”

“Yes,” Berelain said, sounding distracted. “It’s just not reasonable at all.”

“Not at all.”

Damodred approaches, and Alliandre is amused that he barely seems to notice her. He says to Berelain that he’d heard she pled with Aybara on his behalf, but the topic seems forgotten by both of them almost immediately, and he asks if she would like some tea even though she already has some. Alliandre leaves them staring into each other’s eyes, pleased at the thought that this might finally get those blasted Whitecloaks out of her kingdom.

Ah, goofy besotted crushes, they are so very amusing for the rest of us. You wacky, unnaturally pretty kids, you.

It’s probably a little unfair, in the grand karma scheme of things, that Berelain gets to have such an (evidently) unequivocally requited love, when she’s played merry hell with every other love match she’s come across (I’m certainly including Rand and Elayne from way back in TDR here), but, well. There’s a certain depressing truth there, how these things always seem to work out for the beautiful people.

Whatever. If it gets Berelain out of Our Heroes’ collective romantic hair, I’ll take it. At least she and Galad having kids together will work toward improving the overall gene pool, right? So, fair enough. (Heh. “Fair.”)

Galad n’ Perrin as a pair, though, continues to be much more awesome. The idea of the two of them joining forces in a fight, wholeheartedly and with malice aforethought this time, is fairly tingly-making on the “anticipation of epic battles of awesome” front. At least, it will be awesome, once Perrin talks Rand and Egwene and every other channeler on the field down from their (quite reasonable) immediate reaction of Oh HAIL No upon seeing Whitecloaks there. Which should also be quite fun to watch, so there’s that as well. Good times!

And I rather doubt that Perrin will have thought of it this way (and I’m sure Galad wouldn’t have), but their alliance also, I predict, rather rings the death knell on the Whitecloaks’ formerly unswervable conviction that channeling = Evil. First, because of the tsunami of evidence they’re about to witness that channeling is a weapon like any other, subject to the virtue (or lack thereof) of its wielder rather than containing any inherent goodness or badness in and of itself. But secondly and more importantly, because this places the Whitecloaks in a position where they will have to see and interact with these supposedly universally evil channelers on a day-to-day basis.

Nothing breeds and nurtures hatred and intolerance more than ignorance. And by that I don’t necessarily mean a lack of education (though that certainly doesn’t help), but a lack of personal, mundane experience with whatever type of person or thing you’ve been told to fear. It’s a lot harder to believe that X group of folks are all Teh Ebil if you see them every day, brushing their teeth and eating and sleeping, and seeing them be tired, and laugh at jokes, and generally walk around being people, and not foreign scary unknown quantities that you cannot possibly have anything in common with. That chance alone, of having the Whitecloaks get to see that channelers are just people (and vice versa) makes this alliance worthwhile.

Also, the little detail here about Galad’s reaction to finally giving in to Perrin’s ta’verenness made me very happy. Again, that’s the kind of shit I’m here for.


Chapter 44: A Backhanded Request

What Happens
Morgase walks through the camp now outside Whitebridge in Andor, nodding to Faile and regretting the rift that now existed between them. She notes that no one seems to know how to treat her anymore, as she is neither servant nor queen anymore. She reflects that she is grateful for what she learned as Maighdin, but it was time to be done pretending. She finds Basel Gill, Lini, Breane and Lamgwin packing up, and Lini asks if Morgase is sure about returning to Caemlyn. Morgase replies that Elayne could use her assistance, and dismisses Lini’s comment about “two roosters in the same barnyard,” though mentally she acknowledges she will have to be careful not to undermine Elayne’s authority. Tallanvor approaches and reports to her with stiff formality about his visit to Caemlyn, and his suggestion that they ask Perrin to have his channelers send them directly there. He then draws her aside to speak privately, and points out that if she does not get to Caemlyn quickly, the news of her survival will beat her there and possibly erode Elayne’s authority. Morgase retorts tartly that Gill and the others are already packing up for just that reason, and Tallanvor apologizes formally for his “forwardness” and makes to leave.

“Must we be so formal with one another, Tallanvor?”

“The illusion has ended, my Lady.” He walked away.

Morgase watched him go, and felt her heart twist. Curse her stubbornness!

She reflects how Taringail and Gaebril both had proven to her how bad an idea it was for her to have a husband. Then Tallanvor stops and comes back to place his sword at her feet. He says he was wrong to threaten to leave before, and that his heart and sword are hers forever. He goes to leave again, and Morgase points out softly that he never actually asked for her hand. Tallanvor replies that he won’t put her in the position of having to refuse him for the good of Andor, so that she may marry to help secure Elayne’s position. Morgase wonders aloud how many times she must sacrifice herself for Andor.

“No,” she said. “Not again. Tallanvor, look at that sky above. You’ve seen the things that walk the world, felt the Dark One’s curses strike us. This is not a time to be without hope. Without love.”

“But what of duty?”

“Duty can bloody get in line. It’s had its share of me. Everyone’s had their share of me, Tallanvor. Everyone but the man I want.”

She kisses him. Lini barges in and breaks it up by declaring that they’re going to go to Perrin to get married immediately. Morgase protests that she won’t be forced into it like Perrin tried earlier, but Lini retorts that she is not Perrin, and this had to be done before they go to Caemlyn. She orders Gill to unpack Morgase’s things, ignoring Morgase’s protests. Tallanvor agrees to come with Lini, and Morgase points out with a glare that he still hasn’t actually asked her.

He smiled, then held her close. “Morgase Trakand, will you be my wife?”

“Yes,” she replied. “Now let’s find Perrin.”

Perrin examines a grove of trees that died and rotted overnight before heading back to camp, disturbed by the phenomenon. There are five forges going there now, and Perrin hopes that the Power-wrought weapons Neald and the others are turning out will give his people an advantage, though he knows Neald will not be able to reproduce whatever he’d done the night Mah’alleinir had been forged. He worries briefly about his inevitable upcoming meeting with Elayne, and then meets Faile. He tells her how Berelain has published her proclamation condemning the rumors about her and Perrin, and thanks Faile for whatever she did to make it happen.

“Do you know the difference between a hawk and a falcon, Perrin?” […] She smiled. “The hawk is better at hunting the rabbit. But, you see, the falcon is better at hunting the hawk.”

[...] Women. He’d never make sense of them. For once, though, that seemed a good thing.

They are discussing the meeting with Elayne when they are interrupted by the arrival of Lini, Morgase and Tallanvor. Morgase announces that as Perrin is the closest thing to a lord in the camp other than her stepson, she supposes he will do to marry her to Tallanvor. Perrin remarks that that was a rather “backhanded” way to ask him, and this seems to irritate both Morgase and Faile. Morgase backs off, though, and apologizes for insulting his authority; Perrin supposes that she has reason to question it.

“No,” Morgase said, standing up taller. Light, but she could look like a queen when she wanted. How had they missed it before? “You are a lord, Perrin Aybara. Your actions show it. The Two Rivers is blessed because of you, and perhaps Andor as well. So long as you remain part of her.”

“I intend to,” Perrin promised.

Morgase offers to speak on his behalf to Elayne in return, and Faile jumps in to accept the offer, though she says they will have to discuss with Elayne about “bestowing proper titles.” Perrin wonders whether Faile is still considering splitting the Two Rivers from Andor. Galad and Berelain approach, and Perrin notes Galad is tucking away a note with a red seal on it, looking troubled. Perrin and Morgase agree that simplicity is best. Morgase and Tallanvor each make heartfelt and eloquent speeches declaring their love for the other, and Perrin feels superfluous, but announces they’re married anyway and shoos them off. Lini snorts and ushers the newlyweds off, and Faile remarks to Perrin that he’ll have to get better at that before heading off to procure wine for the festivities. Perrin contemplates the camp of his army, now some seventy thousand strong, and wonders how he ended up with such a force. Then something strikes him lightly on the back of his head, making him turn. He approaches the tree it came from cautiously.

A hand suddenly jutted out from behind the trunk, holding a brown sack. “I caught a badger,” a familiar voice said. “Want to let it go on the village green?”

Perrin bellows a laugh and circles the tree to find Mat there, richly dressed, with a wide-brimmed black hat, a polearm with a broad blade, and a sack with a squirming badger in it. He is astounded that Mat actually caught one, and Mat replies that he was feeling nostalgic. Perrin notes that there are no colors in his head when thinking of Mat now that they are together, but that something feels right about it. Perrin pulls Mat into a warm hug, which Mat returns. Mat remarks that Caemlyn is buzzing with news of Perrin’s arrival, and Mat decided to beat everyone else to the punch and come here first. Then he sobers and warns Perrin that assassins are after him; Mat will explain, but not here.

“Meet me in an inn called The Happy Throng, in Caemlyn. Oh, and if you don’t mind, I’ll be wanting to borrow one of those black-coated fellows of yours for a few shakes. Need a gateway.”

“For what purpose?”

“I’ll explain. But later.”

Mat tips his hat and jogs off to slip back through the gateway Grady is holding for the refugees, and Perrin shakes his head and bends to open the sack and “ease the poor badger Mat had captured.”

Okay, first of all, I wish to note for the record that I am highly indignant at the last line of this chapter, because BOO. It was much more fun when we could entertain ourselves with wildly inappropriate notions of what that phrase meant!

But other than that minor detail: YAY SUPERBOY REUNION FOR THE WIN.

Mat! And Perrin! Breathing the same air! Holy crap!

Seriously, y’all. If my calculations are correct, the last time Mat and Perrin were in the same place at the same time was alllllll the way back at the beginning of TSR, in the Stone of Tear before Perrin went to the Two Rivers and Rand and Mat hared off to the Aiel Waste. I’m not sure of how long that is in internal chronology (though it’s been at least a year), but that means in reader time it’s been twenty years since we’ve seen these two characters “on screen” together.

And I did very much love that their reunion was a deliberate callback to our very first introduction to Mat back in TEOTW. Besides just being funny, it was also a very nice reminder of how very far both Mat and Perrin have come since then. And it makes my anticipation of all three Superboys being together again that much sharper. Whoo!

Other than that, this chapter could have been titled The One Where We Finish Up With Morgase’s Character Arc, Finally, Hallelujah. Not that she’s done having things to do, of course, but in finally marrying Tallanvor, her central character conflict is essentially resolved.

For which I am grateful, if rather conflicted over. Because, on the one hand, it’s good that Morgase decides not to let her previous victimization prevent her from seeking her own happiness. Yay for taking back your power, and all that. But on the other hand, there’s a slightly unpleasant subtext here that implies that Morgase could never have regained her own agency as a person before finally finding the right man, which is a little “ugh”-inducing.

That said, romantic happy endings kind of are par for the course for this kind of thing, so it’s pretty easy to conclude that if it’s there, at least the subtext was definitely unintentional. So, you know, I’m happy enough to let it go. Especially because it means (hopefully) that I won’t ever have to deal with this plotline again.

(Though I will note that while I think Perrin’s idea of a wedding “ceremony” here was supposed to be funny, having just come from a very lovely wedding myself I found his lack of couth to be more annoying than amusing. Way to kill the moment, dude, sheesh.)

Faile vs. ornithology: The Intertubes were rather unhelpful in my (admittedly rather cursory) search to discover whether it was true that falcons can hunt hawks, but the consensus seems to be that while falcons are generally smaller than hawks, they are also much faster and more agile hunters than hawks generally are. So, I guess they probably could hunt hawks if they wanted to, but I tend to doubt it’s quite as common a thing as Faile’s remark seems to imply.

FYI, the preceding paragraph has been brought to you by the International Association of Pedantry and Fussy Nitpicks. Our newsletter’s proofreading is immaculate.

I have no idea what the note to Galad business is about. Was that another Verin message, or is it something completely mundane we’ve already been told about and I just forgot? I tend to think it is the latter, because the idea of Verin sending a note to Galad is rather… startling. Though not impossible, I suppose.

And my eyes are pretty much Done With Me (as are my sinuses, and throat, and lungs, and graagagh), so we’ll have to stop here. Wish me a speedy recovery if you will, my peeps, and in the meantime have a merry and candy-filled Samhain if that be your inclination. See you next week!

Kat Blom
1. pro_star
Feel better Leigh!!!!!!! Cursed plagues are the devil!!!
2. Anwyn
Leigh, sending you wishes that you feel better soon. Thanks for an awesome summary and commentary.
Alice Arneson
3. Wetlandernw
Slow your roll, my peeps. Your Auntie Leigh has got you.

Toldja so!! ;)

Can sympathize with the head cold can't-look-at-things symptoms, Leigh. Hope it goes FAST and you can get on with life. Also - loved the cut text. :) I needed the giggle today, I think.
4. Tessa
Thanks for the re-read Leigh! My day is now complete. Have a speedy recovery.
5. Iarvin
I took a hawking course recently, and while smaller birds (falcons) don't hunt hawks per se, they actually are likely to get the better of them in fights due to their increased flight agility. Smaller raptors are more agile in general than the larger ones - in fact during a raptors first yearling molt they are actually larger than when they achieve their first adult molt - and thus less dextrous in flight. Its an interesting inversion of humans fighting. . .
Lee VanDyke
6. Cloric
Get well!

I'm pretty sure it is a note from Verin. Every time we've seen one of those, the red wax seal has been mentioned, so I feel safe in that assumption.

As for Morgase, I would disagree that she needed Tallanvor to have "regained her own agency as a person." As I read it, coming into her right mind and self is what allowed her put the "needs" of the world and queendom aside and be with the man she wanted to be with. Tallanvor was her reward, not her cure.
7. fragrant elephant
Thanks for re-reading despite your head cold, Leigh!

The top results for "falcon vs hawk" on Google suggests that a falcon would beat the hawk, darnit. I was hoping Berelain's larger... frame... would beat out Faile.

Also -- Morgase repeatedly points out how lonely it is (was) being queen. It's not a stretch that she would want a man, and Tallanvor is a damn good candidate.
Marty Beck
8. martytargaryen
Feel better Leigh.

By the way, we're all set for hurricanes up here in the NE...Prayers and thoughts out to those flooded and w/o power.

I for one knew you had our backs, finishing-the-book wise.

Ditto to Cloric@6 for Tallanvor being the prize, not the cure.

(fixed typo)
Tomas Gerst
9. IamnotSpam
I hate for you to be conflicted Leigh
For which I am grateful, if rather conflicted over. Because, on the one hand, it’s good that Morgase decides not to let her previous victimization prevent her from seeking her own happiness. Yay for taking back your power, and all that. But on the other hand, there’s a slightly unpleasant subtext here that implies that Morgase could never have regained her own agency as a person before finally finding the right man, which is a little “ugh”-inducing.
But look at it this way, most of her problems were caused by her involvement; voluntary or not with the wrong men. Making a choice of a partner that she can trust, someone who does not care about her being a queen or not; must be one of the most self affirming choices a “Queen“ can make. Certainly not a choice she has ever been able to make before for herself. My point, for your benefit is that making the choice itself is significant of her moving forward not that a man was necessary for the choice to matter.
Great post, hope you get better, also getting under the weather change myself, sinus infection incoming. Going to have to dig out the humidifier.
Alice Arneson
10. Wetlandernw
In complete agreement with Cloric @6 - the note was from Verin (why else bother to mention it, and the red seal?) and Tallanvor was Morgase's reward, not her cure.

To expand a little, she's been feeling very much a tool for the last while; for most of her life since she was about 18, actually. She used herself most of that time, and she did it for her own good as well as the good of her country, but she did it. (And she'll continue to do it, by the way - but on different terms, now.) "Gaebril" came along, and she thought she was a free agent but now she knows she was being uber-used. Then the Whitecloaks of course; Niall's usage was more benign than Valda's, but it was still using her as a tool.

When they escaped, she had to make choices. In many ways, that part of her arc was the first time she'd really been a free agent for a long time - she was trying to survive and escape, but she was doing it at a much more basic level than ever before. Now, finally, she doesn't have to be anyone in particular - not a Queen, not a servant, not hiding behind some other identity, so she has to decide what she wants to do about it. What she decides is that she wants to marry Tallanvor, but that's the result, not the cause, of her freedom to choose.

Also... I'm really enjoying the reread and finding all the little things. I read the book, and then I went back and reread various parts for various reasons. This is the first time I've gone back at a leisurely pace and reread all of it, and it's fun. The badger; the lack of color-swirls when Mat & Perrin are together; the point that Galad & his Whitecloaks were there because, apparently, Perrin needed them; the weakness after agreeing to the ta'veren need; such wonderful little details. I know I read and noticed them the first time through, but they got buried in all the awesomeness of other sections, and I forgot them. *happy sigh*
11. Bartz
Galad's letter was almost certainly from Verin. The books have made a point of emphasizing the red seal when one of those letters is mentioned.

Re: Morgase, I think we had a discussion in an earlier thread that one of her character traits is that she defines her life by the men in it. Not every female character needs to be strong and independent. Some women will always feel the need for a man. In the WoT world, Morgase is probably a minority there.
William Carter
12. wcarter
Perrin to Galad: Feel the power of Ta'veren, for you are my puppett!!

On a much more serous note, where and how did Mat find a healthy badger what with all of nature going to pot?
13. DPN010
Thank you, Leigh. As always, your re-read posts are a highlight of my week. Your writing reminds me of why I've been reading this series since the beginning; it's fun. The incessant negativity directed toward the final books in other forums is wearying, but your energy, your smarts, and your excellent sense of humor are uplifting. Well done.
Stefan Mitev
14. Bergmaniac
Faile is so right. Perrin really has to work on his wedding ceremony skills. This was just terrible.

Lini is such a prude - "until the marriage is done, I don’t think it’s safe to trust you two alone.” Come on, Morgase is what, 44, she'd been married for a decade and then had lovers for years. We really need to get a scene where Lini meets the pregnant and unmarried Elayne and flips out. The she meets Min and Aviendha and flips out again. ;)
William Carter
15. wcarter
@14 Bergmaniac

Even better would be a scene where she grabs Rand and Elaye each by the ear and drags them from a conference full of big wigs for a talking to...
Wow has it really been that long since Perrin and Mat have breathed the same air? Gawd, this series has gone on sooooo long. I feel I'm as much anticipating the end of the series as lamenting its end.


17. Halibulu
Something I've wondered: Perrin reflects here that Neald can't reproduce what he did with his hammer, and during the forging he remarks that he fills something leaking out of him into the weapon, and later we see the hammer feels warm to touch and burns trollocs where it touches them. So what exactly is that? Did part of Perrin's Ta'veren essence get forged into the hammer, and if so, is Perrin's Ta'veren nature any lessened by it? Does anyone have an answer/thought on this, or has Brandon ever been asked during one of the QAs?
Noneo Yourbusiness
18. Longtimefan
The fundamental dynamic of the wheel of time is sadin(men) and saidar (women) working together to make things better.
The three thousand or so years of men and women being seperated (wheel wise) people still struggled and acheived and lived but in the shadow of greatness.

As the charaters are shown to develop relationships between more than just members of their own gender they are shown to accomplish greater things.

Morgase would have to have a good relationship to balance out the poor relationships since not having a relationship would be leaving her in a singular space which is not impossible but contrary to the premise of the series.

ie. Men and women need to get along, apparently all the time and in relationships. :)

not a bad premise but it does lead to a lot of matchmaking. :)
Eric Hughes
19. CireNaes
@6 and @9

Regarding Morgase and Talanvor, well said.


The inverse applies as well. Perhaps it's symptomatic of not having any true friends?
20. mehndeke
My understanding of the hawk v. falcon analogy:

Hawks tend to hunt land based animals, like rabbits and things.

Falcons tend to hunt birds, like ducks and other birds.

If I had to bet between a hawk and falcon air fight, my bet's on the falcon.
Rich Bennett
21. Neuralnet
My crazy theory is that the note was from Verin and that it tells Galad what happened to his mother etc. (because I dont think that there is any other Galad plotline to finish up at this point)

hope you feel better Leigh, thanks for the reread
22. falconOrHawk
@5 - not such an inversion, really. Hand to hand combat gives a distinct advantage to whomever can get lower than the combatant. Taller/larger folks are quite disadvantaged against an actual skilled opponent. Between your average drunk joes at the bar, yeah, longer reach probably wins.
Alice Arneson
23. Wetlandernw
re: Galad's red-sealed note - I've always hoped it was Verin telling Galad what happened to his mother and that Rand is his half-brother. I'm not entirely sure (without researching) that she knew about it, but it sure would be nice. Then again, it wouldn't be a bad reveal to have Rand tell him, either.
As for Hawks vs. Falcons, from what I have seen with my own two eyes, one Falcon alone is not enough to take a down a Hawk. I witnessed a battle just recently and for the fourth time a dog fight of a singular Hawk vs 3 falcons. The falcons won of course, but not before the hawk severely injured one of the falcons forcing it out of the fight. It went on for about 5 minutes with the hawk soaring away virtually unscathed, but still defeated.

The only time I have seen a one on one between hawk and falcon was a short one. The falcon may be faster, but if it is more agile it is barely so, for I witnessed a series of twists, turns and aerial feats from the hawk that was absolutely applause worthy of which I did do. Standing there, mouth agape with passersby staring at me like I was crazy, I hooted and hollered, clapping and rooting the battle on. The end result? The hawk spun and swept up and stalled, the falcon hot on its tail. The hawk in mid stall twisted and spun, closing its wings and dove only opening its wings to make a correction and seemingly landed on the speeding falcon in mid air. The falcon lamely put on the breaks darting left, but was doomed from the insane maneuver the hawk displayed. The hawk dove again, with the falcon pierced by the hawks talons and gracefully landed on one leg. And preceded to shred the falcon. The hawk didn't eat the kill, she just stood over it a moment or so and then flew away, circling high, exulting with piercing cries above, before soaring away.

I remember it vividly and wish I had some means of recording that moment in time. It will remain one of the great memories to cherish above so many others.

Donna Harvey
25. snaggletoothedwoman
I loved the discourse between Galad and Perrin, his comment "I have good ears" cracked me up! He won Galad's respect just by being himself, he really does mean what he says! Perrin is growing up very nicely and learning to work with his Ta'vereness. Since he is working with the pattern and his people are creating things, they don't have as much trouble with food spoilage as other groups seem to be having.
Aaaaannnnnnd, I too think Galad's letter is from Verin. I'm guessing she might have told him of some of the Whitecloaks being darkfriends.
I am very glad Morgase has finally married her Tallvanor, I too think of it as Her reward. Thank you for the post, Leigh feel better soon!
Bonnie Andrews
26. misfortuona
Well done as allways Oh Glorious Leader! Hope you are feeling better soon. Head Colds SUCK!!!

I honestly never considered that the letter might be from anyone other than Verin. Hmmmm... nope just doesn't make any sense otherwise.

I also never bought into any of the 'easing the badger' nonsense. I was always just too amazed that anyone could/would put a BADGER in a sack for fun. They are just way too nasty for playing with.

Bergmaniac 14 Yeah, Lini... wow! I've been waiting for her and Galad's responses to the whole unwed pregnancy and sister-wives thing for a long time. Really, Really can't wait to read those scenes.

Mis-something good comes from sitting at home with sick Mini-Mis today.
Deana Whitney
27. Braid_Tug
@ Z; What do you do? Where did you see this amazing fight?
Lee VanDyke
28. Cloric
@24 Zexxes

You capped the names of the birds, and for the rest of your post, I could only see what you described as a football game between Atlanta and Seattle. LOL

Edit: Wait! Eureka! RJ was a Falcons fan! Maybe.
Alice Arneson
29. Wetlandernw
misfortuona - Oh dear, are the minis miserable? Bummer. Hope you don't get it too! Fun to see you here, though. :)

snaggletoothedwoman - Good thought, that Verin may have known about some WC DFs... Would she maybe know if Byar was Compelled? (BTW, do we actually know that, or are we just guessing? My head is too fuzzy to figure it out.) If we run out of stuff to talk about later this week, we can do a "what do you think Verin told Galad" poll...
Norman Short
30. Shak
Yay! Thanks Leigh! Hip Hip Hooray!

Now that I'm done rhyming for no real reason, also yay for Mat and Perrin getting back together, even for just a moment. It has indeed been something like 20 years since we first read them together back in TSR. Nice callback on easing the badger too, though I remember that earlier Perrin didn 't know what the phrase meant. He's had time to figure it out though since then. Of course for them it's been not so long; it's always seemed unrealistic to me that only 2-3 years has passed since these three were rural bumpkins and considered youths.
Deana Whitney
31. Braid_Tug
Oh right, the re-read. Distracted by Z’s story.

Is that the first time the ta’vereneffect was that noticeable? We’ve seen the Superboys be pulled by Rand, but I don’t remember seeing ‘regular Joe’ character all put pass out from the pull. Guess the pattern is being less subtle as the Last Battle approaches (ramps up?).

Agree with Cloric. He’s her reward. Like that he had to ask rather than have everything be assumed.
Also he’s her insurance that she’s not used like a pawn again. But does this make Morgase a “cougar” rather than a “Lion.” Sorry… too easy…

“International Association of Pedantry and Fussy Nitpicks” – wow, I would so not qualify for this group. Way too many dyslectic moments, but bet it would be a fabulous source for grammar rules!
32. Iarvin
@22 Still - a short but muscular man against a short slender man still likely has the advantage if all other things are equal. Size and height aren't always correlated.
33. Rancho Unicorno
While I'm one to totally complain and disagree about everything that Leigh says, I can't help smiling at her remark in the prelude regarding completion of the book in time for AMoL. It isn't like Leigh doesn't know her deadline and she had long since stated that she would finish in time. The folks (does that include me? I can't remember) that thought she couldn't do the math kind of make the Trakand Bunch look like wise wisepeople.

But, I can't comment without picking on Leigh. On Morgase and her need to find love to regain her agency, I think this was absolutely necessary. It's a type of Rand and his relationship with the land.

When Morgase thought to put duty before love, the results ranged from poor to disasterous for both her and her reign. Her consorts damaged her and her kingdom. As a result, she was hesitant to pursue love. In the end, though, happiness could only thrive when she cared enough about herself to seek love.

When Rand hardened himself and put duty before everything else, we got....well, we know what we had. It was only when he chose to love the people and the land that he had (one of) his (many) CMOA. His happiness and and the land's happiness rested on his ability to to love himself and love the land.

I could probably drag that out even further, but that may not be ideal for anybody. Especially me as I really should be responding to emails.
34. falconOrHawk
@32 - actually somewhat irrelevant. It's about targets and force applied correctly (not much force even, incredibly frail are human bodies). Which is why wise men and women avoid confrontation unless absolutely forced.
Cameron Tucker
35. Loialson
So happy for Morgase. She was my favorite POV non main character. I always loved her story, her trials and strengths and sufferings. It gave me faith in the human race when I was younger.

I cheered for her when she said
"Duty can bloody well get in line!"
You GO girl!

She deserves some happiness, and I'll echo that Tallanvor is an awesome man, she and he are a great couple. Hope there is lots of babies (non-royal, just for the joy of having children, without the complications of providing heirs. And that's if they want some, as Randland happens to have that handy Heartleaf tea if they don't) and that they grow old and happy together after the last battle. Morgase needs some genuine lovin after the way she's been treated so trashily by other men.

YAY weddings! I love how Faile's first action post ceremony was: now where's the wine?!


And Perrin such a lovable guy, yet so awkward how he handled the ceremony, makes me chuckle. :D
Roger Powell
36. forkroot
Nothing breeds and nurtures hatred and intolerance more than ignorance. And by that I don’t necessarily mean a lack of education (though that certainly doesn’t help), but a lack of personal, mundane experience with whatever type of person or thing you’ve been told to fear. It’s a lot harder to believe that X group of folks are all Teh Ebil if you see them every day, brushing their teeth and eating and sleeping, and seeing them be tired, and laugh at jokes, and generally walk around being people, and not foreign scary unknown quantities that you cannot possibly have anything in common with.
Leigh - Every once a while you produce just a wonderful nugget that I just have to shout out a virtual "AMEN" or some such. OK, so you're not the first person to say it - it's a deep truth, but you've stated very well.

And ... I'd still like to kick Perrin in the butt for not performing Morgase and Tallanvor's marriage with a little more class and gravitas.
37. NotInventedHere

Agreed that the letter is likely from verin (though it makes me wonder who was holding on to it that just now gave it to him), though I think pointing out darkfriends among the Children is perhaps punching a bit below Verin's weight class. I feel like it is more likely something to do with Galad's relatives, either his half-brother the Dragon or his grand-uncle half-Slayer. I suppose it could also be warning him about Valda or Asunawa, though that would be a bit moot at this point.
38. Chip3
As I go through the Towers of Midnight re-read, I realize more and more that, though I know I actually read it basically from cover to cover the day it came out, I have no idea what actually happened. REALLY need to slow down when AMOL comes out.
Julian Augustus
39. Alisonwonderland
Wetlander @23 - I don't remember anything in the text to suggest that Verin would have known about Rand mother. The only wetlanders (!) present who heard the story about Rand's mother were Rand, Mat, Moiraine, Lan, and Egwene. None of them would have had any reason to tell Verin or any other person. I don't think the other supergirls (Nynaeve and Elaine) know, and I doubt even Egwene and Aviendha were able to put two and two together and identify who Shiaine used to be. I expect Galad to learn in aMoL that Rand is his half-brother, but I think the means of getting the two together would be Moiraine (who is also related to Galad but on his father's side).
40. Twedge
Thanks for the reread, Leigh!

I (along with many others, to be sure) had your back re: getting the reread done :) Very excited to see that we're on course for the release of AMoL--can't wait!

I'm torn about the red seal/Galad thing...it certainly fits the method Verin is using, but if feels like a red herring to me. Seems like BS/RJ set us up to believe one thing only to get something else...but who knows? Also, if Vern sent it, did she send it knowing that Galad is the Lord Captain Commander, Rand's half brother, or all of the above? The theme of every character not knowing everything when making decisions is so strong in this book, it would be kind of a let down for Verin (awesome though she is) to be so omniscient. I'm not losing sleep either way, I guess :)

Galad's/Perrin's exchange while searching for survivors is another excellently crafted moment in this book--if a friend told me that by the end of ToM Galad and Perrin would not only have buried the hachet but also became allies, my eyes, they would have been a-rolling, but RJ/BS managed to make this huge transition believable and satisfying. Bravo!
Alice Arneson
41. Wetlandernw
NotInventedHere @37 - Well, by the time Galad has the note, they're in Whitebridge, so there are a few more possibilities. Perrin wonders the same thing, though. (BTW, half-Slayer is actually his uncle; Luc was Tigraine's brother.) Still, I agree - unless it was something about Byar, I don't see that a warning about DFs - even Valda or Asunawa - would be sufficiently relevant to warrant inclusion here. If it were something that dead-and-gone, I don't think it would even be mentioned in passing like this.

Alisonwonderland @39 - I expect you're right, because there's no reason the Aiel would have told Verin about Shiaine Shaiel/Tigraine while she was with them. I suspect a stronger possibility is that she tells him about Slayer; she saw "Lord Luc" in the Two Rivers and made specific note of him. That comes after she had studied and translated the Dark Prophecy stuff on the dungeon walls in Fal Dara:
Luc came to the Mountains of Dhoom.
Isam waited in the high passes.
The hunt is now begun. The Shadow's hounds now course, and kill.
One did live, and one did die, but both are.
I don't know for sure that she ever saw the Isam persona, but she certainly saw Luc, and certainly recognized the name and (almost inevitably) the family resemblance. She may also have had some chance to ask questions and learn more about Slayer; it's hard to say for sure. She knew a lot, that sneaky Verin did... So there's a good chance her note to Galad was about Slayer, which would also explain why he looked troubled as he tucked the note away.

(Wasn't it clever of me, to get RJ to use my alias all the way through the books? ;) I'm so proud of myself - shoutouts everywhere.)
Tricia Irish
42. Tektonica
Miss Leigh, Feel Better Soon!!! Colds are a scourge! But your good humor, she is still intact!

FYI, the preceding paragraph has been brought to you by the International Association of Pedantry and Fussy Nitpicks. Our newsletter’s proofreading isimmaculate. LOL

Cloric@6: I totally agree with your take on Morgase, "Talanvor was her reward, not her cure". And yes, the letter has to be from Verin, otherwise it's completely superfluous information. Do you think she's told him about his relationship to Rand, and what happened to his mother??

Loved Galad's weakness after he swore his oath to Perrin. Do you think it was relief, in a way. Perrins' guilelessness is winning....it even worked on a Whitecloak!

Love all these details that I've forgotten!! Good reread!

And now the posts....
Alice Arneson
43. Wetlandernw
Hey, here's a (looney!) theory. Somewhere in AMoL, Perrin & Slayer are going at it in TAR again. Slayer decides to step out of TAR into the real world as Luc, right next to where Perrin is sleeping so he can just kill him while he's asleep. Only... Galad is there, recognizes him and, knowing that he is Slayer instead of Luc, fights and kills him. Of course, there would have to be some converastion - "Luc, I am your father nephew." Maybe that would be the key to the dis-integration of Slayer, having to fight Tigraine's son but being unwilling to kill him.
Tricia Irish
44. Tektonica
Ummmm....Verin could've been discussing Luc, Galad's uncle. She did spend quite a bit of time around Moraine, perhaps she learned the truth from them....or during her time with the Aiel wise ones, who knew. She is sneaky, that Verin!

I agree that Perrin's wedding ceremony was lame. He seemed like he felt "out of place" or out of authority, but really. This is an incredible commitment....and a former Queen is involved, someone he's known for a long time. Lame Perrin.

Z: Loved your falcon/hawk story! Where did you see that???

Hi Mis!!! So good to see you! Sorry mini-Miz is under the weather.
Joe Walters
45. josepph
maybe Galad was reading his wedding invitation that he just received out of nowhere and put it away looking concerned because what the heck is his mom all of a sudden getting married to this guy for?!
Nadine L.
46. travyl
I like, that BWS surprised us with this meeting of Perrin and Mat earlier than (I) expected, which makes the (short) meeting all the better.
@12 wcarter: you're wondering about the Badger?
Mat caught it - with his Luck of course.

I agree with (all) of you about the note being from Verin. I won't speculate about the content (The unlce-topic seems reasonable, wehn I read comment 39 + 41 though.)
I just hope we'll get to see a meeting of Rand and Galad in aMOL

@36. forkroot: I also agree with the statement you quoted from Leigh (Nothing breeds and nurtures hatred and intolerance more than ignorance.) But I partly disagree with Leigh’s conclusion from it.
The Aes Sedai, do a lot to be seen as aloft and apart, the Ashaman have been trained to be weapons, the Rand's new revelation, that their not just that, isn't yet spread, so even if their working alongside channelers, I don't know if this will prove sufficient to eradicate the ignorance and hatred towards them.
@27 Braid_Tug

The most recent episode, "the dogfight", happened in Vienna, Virginia overtop a Fairfax County government building. I was awaiting a testing for an Emergency 911 Dispatcher job. There were two Hawks. One flying low being harassed by the three falcons and one circling high above seemingly watching the spectacle as I was. At first I thought they were some breed of large black sparrows, as they have a fondness for harassing Ravens or any larger birds nearing their nests. But then I realized they were way to big and fast for that, besides the norm of sparrows not normally nesting in buildings. A couple of others who I brought attention to battle agreed they were likely falcons, being to big for sparrows.

The second, was in Central Florida during the summer. There are a LOT of Hawks in Central Florida, as there are a lot of ideal hunting grounds for them. I was commuting to work on my bike and spied them battling above. I stopped and watched and was almost run over by a golf cart for the price of stopping right in the middle of the path. Joggers were half tripping over themselves trying to see what I was all goofy over. I love birds and have always kept an eye to the sky watching the world above.

As a note, if you are a bird lover as well and happen to live in the DC metro area, there are a large group of Eagles who have taken to nesting in the trees overlooking the Potomac river in Fort Washington, Maryland. I live an 8th of a mile from the river and can here them crying out to each other. When I take rides into Fort Foote park, I sometimes walk down the twisting paths to the waterline and you can spy there nests high above and watch them fish sometimes. Once even, I broke out of the woods onto the short beach along the river and not twenty feet away were three Bald Eagles in all their glory, perched atop of a large log of dead wood. They just looked over at me and commenced screeching at me. I quickly mossied my butt down the river at a safe distance. You gotta understand how HUGE they are. I mean HUUUUUGE! Their talons seemed like the were the size of my fist!

48. Iarvin
@34 Tell that to the sport of wrestling. Or boxing. Or Judo. Or MMA. Its not irrelevant in trained athelete fighters. There's very good reason for having weight classes in sports like that. Also atheletes can fight up a class in weight, but not down. There doubtless are cases where smaller vs larger isn't very important, but in general I believe that larger/heavier people are correctly regarded as the more difficult to fight. I know that sports tend to shy away from abusing the bodies fragile spots - but even in "unfair" situations, I'm fairly convinced that if all other things are equal larger/more powerful people are likely to be more dangerous in a fight.

That's not to say that a smaller person doesn't have certain advantages etc though, or that psychology issues with overconfidence can't also play roles.
Jay Dauro
49. J.Dauro
Auntie Leigh, you didn't really mean to imply that Tallanvor had gone to Caemlyn, did you?

... she noticed someone riding up the path from Whitebridge. Tallanvor.
Roger Powell
50. forkroot
Maybe that would be the key to the dis-integration of Slayer, having to fight Tigraine's son but being unwilling to kill him.
Nah - remember that he knows that Rand is Tigraine's son and had no issue with it. From WH Chapter 22:
...he had rather looked forward to killing his nephew and the wench
(Slayer's thoughts after the failed assassination attempt.)
Benjamin Coole
51. BCP316
@10 and 42:
I was actually really bothered by the whole "weakness" thing up above. Mostly because I can't remember ever reading about it before in earlier books, and at this point, it's a bit late to be adding new worldbuilding elements, no matter how small. I love Brandon Sanderson, not only for Wheel of Time, but also for all his Cosmere novels and Alcatraz, but this bothered me. More, perhaps, than it should have.
52. staizer
What I missed last week was the commentary on the ebook version cover of perrin forging the hammer... very awesome picture. Mat got a badger with his luck, the wheel knew we needed this full circle moment.
Chris Chriserson
53. Captchas_are_annoying
On the letter: I recon it's probably from Verin, but I havn't heard any convincing arguements as to what it might contain. Telling him that he's related to Rand and/or Slayer just seems rather pointless. It's the kind of detail thats nice for us, the readers, but in terms of in-world character development/motivations it doesn't really seem like it'd have much of an effect at all. Certainly not something Verin would be likely to concern herself with.
Alice Arneson
54. Wetlandernw
forkroot @50 - True, but then he never knew Rand except as someone to kill. He may have known Galad, at least as an infant. That could make a difference.

(Hey, in looney-theory-land, anything can be assumed to make a difference if it supports your looney theory...)
Alice Arneson
55. Wetlandernw
Captchas @53 - Got any ideas? Alls I have is this-here looney theory about Galad knowing the wazzup in time to kill Slayer before he kills Perrin... :)
The weakness thing with Galad encounter with Ta'veren has happened a number of times. Most notably with Rand meeting with Tuon. She managed to resist, but only just. Then there's Rand at the Tower meet with Egwene. I think there are quite a few of them with Rand. Less wit Perrin and Mat.

Rob Munnelly
57. RobMRobM
The obvious Verin letter guess would be disclosure to Galad of Darkfriends among WC leadership. But....they all died, so the point is effectively moot, right? If true, that might explain the surprising lack of in text commentary after he read it.
Roger Powell
58. forkroot
A good point there.

We've seen similar post-Ta'veren interaction moments before, although each description varies somewhat. For example, Renaile's reaction after the "bargain" with Mat, Caraline Damodred's reaction to Rand, and most dramatically Tuon's reaction. We don't get the internal POV in the first two examples but we see the character clearly affected. In Tuon's case, we do get the POV and she was clearly fatigued by the encounter, even though she resisted Rand's influence.

Given that precedent, I don't see this as any particularly new plot element. Perrin is, of course, in a unique position to comment being one of the two people who get to experience both ends of the interaction -- thus the first verbalization of the work "weakness".

EDIT: I see that Z beat me to essentially the same point while I was delicately crafting my response :-)
59. deBebbler
"I found his lack of couth to be more annoying than amusing."

I found it positively hysterical when I first read it, and it still made me laugh in this post. "Off with you then", Lini snorts, lulz.
Bill Reamy
60. BillinHI
Alisonwonderland @ 39 & Wetlandernw @ 41: Not that it really matters, but Shiaine is actually the DF Mili Skane. Shaiel was the name Tigraine was known by in the Three-Fold Land. And yes, I had to go to the Encyclopedia WOT for that tidbit as I knew that Shiane didn't sound right to me, but I couldn't come up with Shaiel on my own.

And let me add my own Get Well Leigh wishes.
Alice Arneson
61. Wetlandernw
BillinHI @60 - Thank you! I knew something was wrong but couldn't figure out what and didn't bother to dig. (In my defense, I'ven spent most of the afternoon putting about 6 yards of hem in my daughter's dress for tomorrow... and trying to make myself stick to it instead of noodling around on the computer all day.) Anyway - I'll go fix it now.
Roger Powell
62. forkroot
Anyway - I'll go fix it now
The post or the costume? {:: winks ::}

This brings back memories from many years ago (pre-"Mrs forkroot") ... The girlfriend and I decided to go to a Halloween party and I decided to go as "The National Debt". (Kinda like the "made of money" guy in the Geico commercials.) Poor girlfriend got stuck slaving over the sewing machine stitching on row after row of fake money onto my green sweatshirt and sweatpants.

No wonder she dumped me a month later.
john mullen
63. johntheirishmongol
Zexxes is correct. I remember the same passage.

The Galad and Berelain thing is very cute, and so are Galad and Perrin. But the best thing was seeing Mat and Perrin...and the way Mat showed was perfect.
Richard Hunt
64. WOTman
I believe that Morgase is tired of being a leader and sacrificing herself for the common good.

I believe that as a leader she could not be subservient to a man. (A sign of weakness)

I believe that she finally said enough is enough, I am not letting him walk away this time and I say, good for you.

I think that Perrin (who was tired and concerned about their present situation) was caught off guard by the wedding. I think he was good hearted in the first attempt and got stung by it and was a bit confused the second time around.

I go along with most that the letter is from Verin and lets Galad know the situation and he is puzzled and left wondering what his options are (if any).

I think Tallanvar did go on a scouting mission into caemlyn to see what the situation is. but I think it was after these scenes.

I did have a thought about Egwene and Galad. I think somewhere along the line, she either had a dream where Galad stood over her with a sword and could have either killed her or freed her, or, it was a Min viewing that could have gone either way. I am not sure if the story has went past that point yet or perhaps in AMoL will bring it about.
Sandy Brewer
65. ShaggyBella
One thing about Morgaise is that her old BFs now have new sweeties. Gareth has Siuan and Thom hearts Moiraine.

Oh, and Leigh did not not mention this gem:
“Light, Mat,” Perrin said. “It seems like it’s been forever!”
“A lifetime,” Mat said. “Maybe two. I lose count.
Made me smile.
Valentin M
66. ValMar
I really remember bugger all form this book! It makes the re-read more interesting for sure, and will make my all ultimate re-read after AMOL better too.

These yet another chapters which I really like. Excellent payback in Perrins storyline and it isn't over yet.

Also agree that Tallanvor is a reward for Morgase. A perk for not being a Queen anymore- she can have relationship for love only. Perhaps a case of unjustified piece of feminist outrage?

Regarding Leigh's comment on people living together in order to be able to get along, it is true to an extent. Obviously it's a good thing. IMO a necessary thing. But is no guarantee for good relations long term, merely a good foundation.
If the relationship between two groups is put inder stress things easily could get nasty. Recently, in former Yugoslavia people who as recently as 1945 were engaged in a brutal conflict lived peacefully cheek by jaw for 45 years and then... There is Syria and Lebanon. There are so many sad examples as these.

Of course, the Children and AS aren't peoples or tribes, they are organisations. If the WC get accustomed to the Power and it's yielders this ought to be to the good. Plus aren't they currently about 7 000 and without home as opposed to about 100 000 Tower troops and hundreds of AS... Thus, for a while the WC's have no choice to be placid, with or without Galad. By the time in the future when they may have recovered they would've gotten used to channelers.
Jay Dauro
67. J.Dauro
Leigh did not mention one of the bits I am most curious about.

From 43 - Some Tea
Alliandre kept her tongue after that, cutting bandages. She ran across a fine blue silk shirt in the pile. Surely there could be something better done with that! She stuffed it between two others and set those beside her, as if in a pile she intended to cut.
She walked back toward Faile and Perrin. As she did so, she slipped the blue silk shirt from the pile of cloth she’d set aside to cut. It really would make a nice sash.
Are we getting a hint here? Is this combined with the bit from Chapter 41?
“One of the Forsaken?” Alliandre said, voice rising. “We can’t fight one of the Forsaken!”
It may just be natural belief that the Forsaken are invincible, combined with a bit of greed. Or is it an indication that Perrin's liegewoman is a darkfriend?

Of course RJ and BWS would never try to mislead us.
68. Freelancer
Hillbilly wedding ceremony...

::point at groom:: "Wann'em?"
::point at bride:: "Wann'em?"
::clap hands:: "Gottem!"

Twedge @40

Perrin and Galad were guaranteed to become allies from the moment that Perrin rescued Morgase and her retinue from Masema's thugs. There had already been speculation of the two groups colliding, but once his step-mother was with Perrin's group, it was an easy guess that she would be the way to draw them together.

BCP316 @51

RE: Ta'veren PCSD (Post-Contact Stress Disorder)
This is not the first time this has been presented to us. Here is but a sampling of such occurrences...

In the Prologue of TPoD, Verin, following Dumai's Wells, recounts feeling like
"a woodchip in the millrace of Rand al'Thor's ta'veren swirl"
when questioned as to why she swore to the Dragon Reborn.

In TSR Ch.18, when Perrin is leaving the Stone with Loial, Gaul, Faile, Bain and Chiad, he feels the resistance to his departure that he knows is Rand's ta'veren pull.

In TGS Ch.35, Tuon strongly feels the pressure on her to submit to Rand's wishes, and only finds herself able to resist him because of her repulsion to the impeding darkness around him. She cannot stand for several moments afterward.

In ToM Ch.3, the Sitters present when Rand meets Egwene are unable to speak, barely able to breathe in his presence, and are noted as slumping in their seats following the meeting.

ETA: Curious, I submitted this comment almost 5 hrs ago, and it finally appeared. No links, no idea what held it up. ::squints sharply at the tordotcom:: Oh well.
69. MickeyDee
“ease the poor badger Mat had captured.”

What? What? He didn't even ask the poor badger if it needed any hand relief easing. I don't care if he is ta'veren, ASK first before letting your hands wander. And even if it is a tuberculosis-ridden bad tempered wild beast, a badger's tadger is it's own property. Keep your "easing" to yourself wolf-boy!
Jeff Schweer
70. JeffS.
No comments this week besides the fact that I'm surprised the site is updating at all under the circumstances.

To all in the NorthEast, New York and New Jersey especially:

Stay safe, take care, our hearts are with you.
@69 MickeyDee

Lol! I'm glad I wasn't having cookies and cream when I read that. It was definitely chuckle snort worthy. Hmmm, I wonder if it's possible to read while enjoying cookies and cream... Hmmm, gonna have to try and see!

For the most part, Sandy was kind of lame in Maryland. I expected more. I guess that's a good thing. *sigh*

Peace be to all those who lost their lives during this storm and to their surviving families as well.

73. Louis Theodore Tellman
Am I the only one that thought the "fatigue" thing on Galad's part was due to his having been Healed recently? Maybe I read it wrong...
74. TypoNazi
Guys, Guys, Guys...

Major typo in the book. It's not supposed to be "easing" the badger... It's supposed to be "eating" the badger. Man, I was sure they would have caught that one.

75. MickeyDee
"Eating" the badger??!! And he kisses his wife with *that* mouth?

I'm conflicted. There I was thinking Perrin was acting a twat ratbag, now I find he was a gentleman with a hessian-sack fetish instead. Sounds perfectly normal in a landed-gentry sort of way ;)

Just had a thought. Given that Zarine is a proper daughter of Saldea, surely she's been up for a nine-horse hitch in the past? Maybe she won't be so judgmental if wolf-boy is out *eating* the odd badger (in a sack).
Alice Arneson
76. Wetlandernw
forkroot - check in on the chapter 2 thread. You have an answer. So do I. :)
Okay, lemme just say that it is too hard to pay proper attention to the cookie while reading at the same time.

Alice Arneson
78. Wetlandernw
forkroot @62 - Yes.

And since it's now past midnight and the costume is ready, I'm out!
79. alreadymadwithfalcons
I always thought Faile was referring to the Peregrine's ability to hunt flying birds.
Terry McNamee
80. macster
Not a whole lot to say this time that hasn't already been said. Let me just say upfront that I loved Perrin saving young Jerum that way and how his relationship with Galad is developing; both Faile and Alliandre's assessments of Berelain seem quite accurate to me (that she has major blind spots and ignorances, and that however clever and able a ruler she may be, living the way she does is not particularly moral or appealing); the scene with Alliandre, Berelain, and Galad was hysterical (juggling three tea cups, and "Er."); I loved seeing Morgase and Tallanvor finally tie the knot and be happy together; and of course the reunion of Mat and Perrin was wonderful and heartwarming.

Leigh, your thoughts on the Whitecloaks being exposed to Aes Sedai for the first time, and prejudices and hate coming down on both sides, were very apt, wise, and powerful. While we can't know how much of this will actually be shown in AMoL, or by whom, I suspect Bornhald may be one of those whose reactions we will see. This is particularly interesting in light of him being the one who raised such a stink with Egwene, Elayne, and Nynaeve outside Tar Valon in TDR; if he can come to see Aes Sedai differently after that debacle, that will be quite an achievement for tolerance and unity.

Still thinking Alliandre is suspicious. Aside from my reasoning I gave last week, I feel a need to point out that nowhere in Alliandre's thoughts does she show that she is truly on Perrin's side in the Last Battle, or the Light side at all. She curses in her thoughts, but only "bloody", "bloody ashes", and "blasted", never "Light!" Her allying with Perrin comes across as calculating, political expediency to protect herself from the Prophet's forces, not because she genuinely believes in facing the Shadow, and wanting the Whitecloaks out of her realm falls in the same category--she wants them gone because of the havoc they cause, not because she doesn't like the way they make other Lightsiders look with their methods and beliefs. (She may even want them out because they hunt down Darkfriends...)

And in general the circumspect nature of her thoughts, that she never confirms for us her true allegiances, makes me think of hers as another example of the oblique POV...those Jordan used when he didn't want us to know which side someone was on, like Verin. Why would Sanderson do this, and in fact make a point of not confirming she's on the Light side, if we weren't supposed to be suspicious? There are plenty of people he confirmed outright walked in the Light in their thoughts, but people who didn't give confirming thoughts were always ones readers were unsure about--Verin, Cadsuane, Sorilea... Not getting someone's thoughts at all (Dyelin) may be suspicious, but getting circumspect ones is even more so...

I remember somebody was bent out of shape about the title of Chapter 44--that it seemed not WOT-ish, and it should have been something like "The Last Leaf" (which would not only reference Faile's comment, and the same thing the actual title references, it'd fit the part with the dying trees). But I still like the title as is; not every title in the series has been portentous, multilayered in meaning, or high-flown. Sometimes simple is best.

Lini is a fun character, and usually very wise, but she's also certainly rather self-centered: when Perrin tries to order Morgase around, it's wrong, but when she does it, it's okay? Must be more of that "men are woolheads" thinking. Or just that Lini thinks she knows better than everybody. She may have a point in this case, since Morgase and Tallanvor deciding on their own to wed and asking him to do the ceremony is far more respectful than him simply ordering them to do it, but still... Ah well, nobody's perfect, but at least the deed is done.

And I think they are great together! He may have started off as her inferior, but once she stopped being queen that ceased to matter so much, and he is certainly better for her than any of her lovers. Even Thom and Gareth didn't treat her with the respect Tallanvor does, nor did either of them know when to obey (outside the political arena) as he does. Their vows said so much...I may be balefired for saying this, but I put their wedding up there with Faile and Perrin's in terms of emotional resonance and significance.

(Note I say wedding: in terms of relationships, Rand with each of his women, and especially the triple-bonding ceremony, is powerful and emotional, but not quite the same thing. And while Tuon and Mat are certainly an interesting relationship, we already know they don't love each other near as much as any other WOT couple, though perhaps they will someday.)

Loved seeing Morgase acknowledge and respect Perrin, both in his skills as a leader and the good he is doing for Randland, and Andor in particular. As for Galad's note, the seal very clearly marks it as from Verin. But since indeed I don't see how she could possibly know about Rand's parentage, my guess is that it has to do with Slayer's identity which she very much does know, thanks to the Dark Prophecy (and, probably, things she's learned from being Black). Whether this has anything to do with what Luc's role in the Last Battle will be, I don't know. (He sheds Rand's blood, from his half-brother? And I see Wetlander, as usual, covered all this already. Sigh.)

I don't think Perrin's last line necessarily means he knows the meaning of the phrase now; it's simply a statement of what he was physically doing. The only reason it resonates for us is because we know of the phrase and the debate over it--it was Sanderson winking and nudging us, not something Perrin himself knew and was acknowledging.

FYI: According to Steven Cooper's chronology, yes it's only been a year (possibly a little longer, taking ToM into account) since Mat and Perrin last saw each other.

@6 Cloric, @9 Iamnotspam, @10 Wetlander: Well said, I concur completely about Morgase.

@12 wcarter: Just because so much of the land is dying because of the Dark One and the Pattern weakening doesn't mean all the animals are unhealthy too. Also keep in mind that Andor (and specifically Caemlyn) has been described as a center of order and stability since Elayne took the throne, that Rand's Fisher King power has been going through the bond to affect her and the city/land around her, and that Perrin too has been bringing health and life with him once he got his act together due to his ta'veren effect (and, I think, him being associated with creation, the Dark One's antithesis--see snaggletoothedwoman @25).

@17 Halibulu: An interesting notion. I would say that, so long as a ta'veren remains one and their power is waxing, they couldn't "lose" their ta'verenness just because it went into or affected something/someone. It's a constant effect on the Pattern, so long as they are one, so whatever of Perrin was lost when it went into the hammer would be replaced, either instantly or gradually. Or maybe he's constantly tied to the hammer now, which is why it always feels warm to him, so that part isn't lost because they're always together, acting in concert. Kind of like Thor and his hammer, in fact. ;)

@29 Wetlander: We don't know it for sure, but we do know Byar was the tool she had planted and maneuvered so very carefully, and unless he didn't know who she was or why she was directing him to do what he did, I can't see him aiding the Shadow in any way without being Compelled. Not to mention Compulsion is Graendal's stock in trade...I don't think we've seen anyone who served her whom she hadn't put under Compulsion, so it would be rather odd if Byar was her tool but not Compelled.

@31 Braid_Tug: Well, the Aes Sedai at the Tower almost passed out after Rand left his meeting with Egwene and they could speak and move again. Did Loial get faint when he let his tongue get away from him about Erith in Rand and Perrin's presence? (Start of ACOS) Beyond that, I can't recall any times either. (Though Zexxes, forkroot, and Freelancer added others! Well my memory was failing me anyway. :P )

@33 Rancho Unicorno: Very insightful, and deep, connections between Morgase and Rand, and between both of them and the overall themes and patterns of the series. *applauds*

@35 Loialson: I cheered too. And I agree, while everything that happened to Morgase was horrible, I've liked her all along and am so very happy to see things finally going right for her again.

@43 Wetlander: Interesting theory indeed...

@53 Captchas: It would very much have relevance in-world if she told him his uncle he thought dead was alive and had gone to the Shadow. And if it leads to Galad facing Slayer, and one of them dying, I'd say that would have consequences for the Last Battle.

@64 WOTman: You're thinking of Gawyn, either breaking Egwene's neck or kneeling to her.

@65 ShaggyBella: I missed that! Subtle and wonderful.

@67 J.Dauro: Nice to know I am not the only one suspicious of Ghealdan's queen. Though I am not sure what the sash has to do with Forsaken/her being a Darkfriend.

@69 MickeyDee: LOL!
81. alreadymadwithalliandre
So what's next? Are we going to find out Alliandre is in fact Demandred under a glamour?

Seriously, of course she has an agenda of her own. Any ruler would have one.
Jonathan Levy
82. JonathanLevy
On a much more serous note, where and how did Mat find a healthy badger what with all of nature going to pot?
The same way Perrin got the Whitecloaks. His Ta'verenness needed a badger. :)

17. Halibulu
I'd say Perrin's Ta'verenness needed a unique weapon, and so by chance Neald produced weaves which are now beyond his skill.


Re: Verin's letter to Galad.

Well, I personally am convinced my previous reconstruction is correct:

My Dearest Galad,

Tomorrow I will go to the White Tower to strike a blow against the Dark One. How can I know this? That secret belongs to others, but let the foreknowledge stand as proof of what I say.

You will be told that I am dead by poison. I am not dead. The poison is a drug I acquired from Friar Laurence, which will put me in a deathlike trance for two and fourty hours. In this time I will be laid to rest in the tomb of my ancestors. It has "CAPULET" written on it in big letters.

You must break into the tomb and rescue me or I will perish.

My dearest Galad, there are so many words I wanted to say to you, words from the heart, that have filled my dreams since that night we spent together. I hold them on my lips for when next I see you.

I pray you will open this letter in time.

Philip Alan Smith
83. AlanS7
forkroot@50: I've always thought that "the nephew and the wench" were Lan (Isam's nephew) and Nynaeve.

Edit: having checked tEotW I see that Lan is his cousin. Oops!
Birgit F
84. birgit
Isn't Alliandre using the saved dress at Morgase's wedding party?

Slayer might be one person who served Graendal without being Compelled.

Galad joined the Whitecloaks because he wasn't happy with his experience getting to know AS. The WOs lost respect of the AS when they got to know them. AS and Windfinders didn't get along well when they got to know each other. Maybe getting to know AS is not a good way to think better of them.
85. Omlettewene AlVere
Re: the meaning of the name "Faile" - Loial son of Arent son of Halan has recounted a story dating back to the Breaking, about a couple, Maldo son of Teina son of Taku and Dana daughter of Hala daughter of Guria, who worked for the Library of the Hall of Servants.

They were separated by the Breaking, and lost the collections they were then transferring to their stedding for safekeeping. But one had one part of a two-volumn collection, and the other had the second part. Fragments of these two volumns then passed into the collection of stedding Shangtai, and they discuss animals and evolution. faile is defined as being a category of animal, exemplars being lagosuchus and erythrosuchus, though Pedai Sathy Tely, Head Librarian and a notable paleontologist in his own right, argued that faile also extended to nodosaurids and ceratopsids, in which case Faile might well be translated as Triceratops.

There was an aside in one of the post-Collapse chapters, discussing a group of creatures that had preceded the shocking arrival of the Trollocs. It seemed that the word used to express Hawk in Artur Hawkwing's public pronouncements, was first used at that time for one of Aginor's remodelled dinosaurians otherwise known to paleontologists as the Veloraptor, or Bikethief.

Naturally Lord Perrin Sei'Cair (Goldeneyes) is trying to work this one out, and trying to decide just what his friend the Lady Elmindreda Farshaw had been trying to tell him so many years ago, about a bunnycroc and a bikethief perching on his shoulders.
Chris R
86. up2stuff
@ 17...
I think that the reason Neald isn't having the same results is that the personal connection isn't there. Perrin's Hammer was a special case. It is not only a tool that would be a more personal and fitting symbol of who he sees himself to be, but he also forged it himself and I think that is what the "something of himself" comes from. It is not some random man making a sword blade for another random soldier. It was a power wrought weapon, yes, but it was kind of a PATTERN wrought weapon too, if there is such a thing.
William Carter
87. wcarter
@mcaster and travyl
My earlier post about the badgers was mostly a joke.

Still, there is something strange to me about those badger loving farm boys' behaviour. While I understand and approve of the callbacks, it's the fact that Mat would think capturing a badger is a good idea in the first place that gets me.

Lets go down the list: Badgers have claws that would put Freddy Krueger to shame, they are notorious carries of rabbies and tuberculosis, they can run as fast as an athletic human, and they weigh anywhere between 16-40 pounds fully grown depending on the species. Oh, and they've been know to fight off dogs, wolves and even bears.

That should be more than enough to tell any sane person that there are better (read: less murderous) woodland creatures to harrass. So yeah, don't go screwing easing badgers. Much better to go for the sheep, they're fluffier anyhow ;)

*Edit: I wonder if Perrin made that badger "squeel like a piggy"?
88. Iarvin
Perrin's hammer is also foreshadowed in the chapter "A Forging of a hammer" in Crossroads of Twighlight. He's forging his anger into a hammer - metaphorically. Its possible that he's literally doing some wolf-dreamer thing in the waking world when he's pouring out his emotions into his hammer when he forges the literal one.
89. alreadymadwithpowerhammer
upstuff @86
Or perhaps the skill level of the blacksmith is also an issue.

wcarter @87
Perhaps that is the idea. Note that Mat intended to release it on the village green. A wide open space where everyone who saw it would have plenty of space to give the poor badger a wide berth as it scampered off.
Deana Whitney
90. Braid_Tug
@ 61, Wetlandernw – 6 yards- you can sing the “It’s the hem that never Ends” song! Just keep repeating in the tune of “It’s a small world” until done. Curious, is it a mediaeval or Steampunk or Disney Princess inspired dress? Those are the only one I can think of that have 6 yards at the hem.

@ Several: thanks for the examples of people physically reacting to the ta'verenpull.

@ 47, Z: Thanks!

@ 82, JL: Glad I did not have my morning tea yet. It would have been all over the computer.

Off topic, need help remembering where I heard / read the quote below. Since you all are very well read, figured someone knew this.
The leader has just gotten done addressing the crowed of regular fighters. Then turns to their “elite fighting force of some nature (might be magical)” :
" I ask you for your caution instead. We can make use of maimed 'elite soldiers', but not dead ones "

If this is from WOT, I’ll be very embarrassed. But I can’t remember anything except that moment.

Happy Halloween!!!
Jay Dauro
91. J.Dauro

It's not so much the sash/shirt itself, as the attitude it shows. The cloth is being used to make bandages for the injured. But Alliandre sees something she likes, hides it and sneaks it out. Granted, there may not be a shortage of raw materials, but taking something from the injured to use as ornamentation for yourself is an attitude that I would see more as indicative of a darkfriend.
92. Looking Glass
Halibulu @17: As far as I know, Perrin’s hammer mojo is left a bit mystical, almost certainly deliberately. However, I think it’s less that he’s… leaking… ta’veren-ness into the hammer and lessening himself thereby, so much as that in forging his hammer he’s becoming more himself. The hammer is adding to the package, rather than siphoning off power in some zero-sum sense. Just like Mat’s spear is part of his myth, or Birgitte’s bow, or how Rand has Callandor.

Of course, I think one of the defining properties of the mythological Mjolnir is that Thor couldn’t lose it; it was always ready to hand. If Perrin’s version partakes of that, then even if it were a zero-sum thing it would probably be a moot point.

Also of note is that the hammer definitely appears to have taken up some of Hopper’s essence, or what he represents to Perrin, or something. Though given how he felt about Slayer killing hopper, that’s probably of a piece with his anger.

Honestly, Verin’s so very sneaky that it’s impossible to predict just how much she’ll know. Especially taking into account that her prophecy-interpretation-fu is strong. Remember her performance in TGH?

And as Wetlander and others pointed out, she does definitely know at least something of Luc.

On the specific matter of Rand’s mother: in addition to whatever other information may be floating around out there, there’s at least some information about his ancestry and location floating around in the prophecies commonly known among the Aiel (the whole “blood of our blood” thing, if nothing else). There’s no particular reason to believe Verin knew those particular prophecies, but the information was prophesied somewhere and circulated among a large population.

However, there’s also no reason to think that information is particularly relevant to Galad’s story- Galad’s arc and actions to date are only minimally linked to what he thinks of Rand personally. Now if it had turned out that Rand was actually Gawyn’s brother or something, that would have been very relevant to Gawyn’s story arc (a hypothetical which would also have been icky with Elayne; ignore that for the moment). But not so much for Galad


JonathanLevy @82: That letter is absolutely hilarious. Obviously, it will be that tragedy that ends the feud between the tower and the whitecloaks.
Roger Powell
93. forkroot
Indeed, badgers are ferocious beasts. I saw a video of an unfortunately grizzly bear (!) that tangled with a badger. By size and weight it should be no contest but nobody told the badger that. It was quicker than the bear and kept raking its claws across the bear's nose and face (while dodging the bear's attacks.) Finally the bear had had enough and split.

Here in Arizona, Prescott High School's mascot is the badger. This harkens back to many years ago when the locals sponsored badger vs. dog fights. Out of towners would bring their biggest, fiercest fighting dogs to town to have them fight a badger. The locals always bet on the badger and they almost never lost.
Valentin M
94. ValMar
wcarter @ 87

Probably the boys used to go for sheep too. But this is the sort of thing that RJ wouldn't explicitly show ;) GRRM might... Something like "50 Shades of Grey Wool" :)

Re: Alliandre. It is interesting. OTOneH her sneaking the cloth away is rather innocuous action. OTOtherH it's the sort of thing that in WOT may point to a DF, thematically. Could be a red herring, of course.
Also, the circumstances of her accession to the throne are a bit suspicious. DFs tend to do well in such occassions.
95. alreadymadwithbadgers
A sheep wouldn't cause as much chaos as a badger.
Alice Arneson
96. Wetlandernw
Braid_Tug @90 - Okay, now I'm really glad I finished it last night before I saw this,or I'd have had "It's the hem that never ends" going through my head until I did! It's medieval-inspired; her school celebrates Reformation Day rather than Halloween, so the costumes are either 16th/17th-century, or an object/theme related to the Reformation. (One of the teachers came as the Wittenberg church door one year; another came as Martin Luther's hammer last year.) Sadly, my head was too fuzzy this morning to remember to take a picture before I took her to school.

Closer to "on topic"... I don't recognize the quote about the elite military forces, so I'm pretty sure it's not WoT; likely not Sanderson, Pratchett or Eddings either. Could it be from Malazan, or ASoIaF? It's a good point, in any case.
Sam Mickel
97. Samadai
There is always the possibility that over the course of the three turns of the wheel that a badger became a "something" and and Opossum became a badger. ;) SO maybe releasing a badger gets all the pretty girls to stand around staring at the cute ugly little thing, thereby allowing all the boys to do whatever they want with the sheep....... Its kind of like Wyoming that way, except without the drive-thru liquor stores.....

Macster, I love what you have to say, the only problem is you are too miserly with your words. Perhaps you could open up and tell us more. ( I am really kidding, in case you can't tell) I do enjoy what you have to say.

No surprise for anyone who knows me, but I love Perrins arc. I like that Galad has become so comfortable with him, and can trust him so completely. Never really gave Alliandre any thought, but I guess it's possible she is adarkfriend, though I find it unlikely. I guess we'll find out

Though that really makes me wonder, When Rand meets with all the rulers, who is going to be exposed as a darkfriend? will be fun to see.
Donna Harvey
98. snaggletoothedwoman
J.Dauro @67, I have been very curious about Alliandre as well. Don't we first see her when Nynaeve is trying to get a boat from the Prophet? For someone that seemed smart enough to deal with the prophet to the woman "in over her head" as she put it herself, I am still trying to understand her. We don't really have many POV from her. She quickly swore to Perrin...fear or calculated df stuff. She has been away from her land for a long time now..... She is kind of an air head when it comes to real issues, giving her WHOLE name and affiliation to the Aiel when captured, pouting when she dosen't get her way..... Yes, she leaves me with many questions....
William Carter
99. wcarter
I'm fairly certain Allaindre is just petty. She strikes me as the arrogant nouveau riche. By that I mean she doesn't quite seem used to and comfortable with her own power as say Morgase who could dominate a room just by being there and wasn't about to cow down even when captured by Aiel.

Do I think she's a dark friend? Honestly I have no idea and am completely ambivalent. In my mind there's only two ways that it's likely to go down:
A.) She isn't a df and her oath of fealty will hold her people to Perrin
B.) She is and Rand/something else will exopse her at which point her own captain will end up executing her and her people will still follow Perrin.
@90 Braid_Tug

Elite warriors - could it be the Codex Alera by Jim Butcher? Good series by the way, if you haven't read it.


Awwww! Would you look at that! Da hunnnnnyzzzz

101. alreadymadwithalliandre
wcarter @99
I doubt she's nouveau riche. Not in the way the word is commonly used, anyway. She was probably related to the old Ghealdan ruling house before Masema tore it apart, but so far down the line she never expected to have to take the reins herself. That's why she admits to being out of her depth. She actually is.
michael gaston
102. Ashenladoka
Not a requirement but a reward. Of all the men in Morgase life, Tallanvor was the one that loved her for her. Not the power she had or the riches. But he did his duty and knew his place as a guard loving a Queen. Even until the last he was going to follow his duty. I’m glad she realized she can enjoy life without the political issues.
“He swore the new oath.” Morgase opened her mouth, but Lini forstalled her. “I saw him afterwards, alone behind the sttables. That’s how I knew who you meant; I found out his name. He did not see me. He was on his knees, tears streaming down his face. He alternated apologizing to you and repeating the old oath. Not just to ‘the Queen of Andor,’ but to ‘Queen Morgase of Andor.’ He swore in the old way, on his sword, slicing his arm to show he would shed his last drop before breaking it. I know a thing or two of men, girl. That one will follow you against an army with nothing but his bare hands”
The Fires of Heaven ch. 19
Donna Harvey
103. snaggletoothedwoman
You know, I had forgotten that Morgase knew that Tallanvor had sworn himself to her personally! That Lini is almost as sneeky as Verin....
Richard Hunt
104. WOTman
Concerning happiness for Tallanvar and newly wedded Morgase, I am not so sure their will be a lot of hapiness at first. She wil have to give up authority (for the most part) and that will be a tough thing. They never really had a heart to heart before getting married, but both are leaders and too many chiefs spell trouble in the river city. I do think they will make it in the long run though.

(Queen) Alliandre as a DF, as it is, I don't think she could do much damage except perhaps by killing Faile, other than that, she hasn't got a lot of pull. She did make an oath and I don't know how strong that is, especially after what happened with Rand in the last book. The act of taking the material was low and petty, but I don't believe it was a nefarious move on her part. In fact, I think it is used later on in the book, but I might not be right on that.
I don't think there is an expiration date on Taverenness, it just keeps on going until the main deed is done, and in this case, it is winning the last battle.
Valentin M
105. ValMar
wcarter @ 99

I pretty much agree with the whole post- except with the word "just" in front of petty. It will have to go if she turns out to be a DF.

alreadymad @ 101
I see Alliandre as "nouveau riche" in a sense that she was an important noble, by the low local standards. But not one who had any chance of taking the crown without the disastrous chake-up of Ghealdan's politics and state.
Before Masema, she would've been preoccupied with very mundane and petty stuff, most likely. What to wear at the Big Ball in the palace, hosting the Monarch, gaining some commercial rights, etc. The place was a calm backwater.
106. Wortmauer
Easing: Yeah, I didn't think BS ruined the joke here at all. He wasn't trying to settle that deliciously silly mystery of what that phrase actually meant. This was purely an authorial wink at the fans. And I thought (and still think) it was the funniest line in the whole book. I was laughing out loud for a good long time, and not in the lame Internet hyperbole sense.
Ashenladoka@102: Of all the men in Morgase life, Tallanvor was the one that loved her for her. Not the power she had or the riches.
You mean kinda like how Thom describes himself?
"Because it is lonely being a queen," he said softly. "Because most men attracted to a queen see power, not a woman. I saw a woman, and she knew it. I suppose Bryne saw the same in her, and this Gaebril, too. You have to understand, child. Everyone wants someone in their life, someone who cares for them, someone they can care for. Even a queen."
— TSR Ch. 39, "A Cup of Wine"
Now we know Gaebril and Tarangail were political matches, but not Thom or Gareth Bryne. So I wouldn't say Morgase has lived a lifetime of mere political unions. Tallanvor isn't the first to "lover her as her."
107. Freelancer
AlanS7 @83

Isam is Lan's cousin. Their fathers, Lain and al'Akir Mandragoran, are brothers.

Luc Mantear is Tigraine's (Shaiel's) brother, therefore Rand's uncle.

Slayer was sent to Far Madding to assassinate Rand (Min as well, just because she was there), not Lan.
michael gaston
108. Ashenladoka
Thom was also talking to the possible future Queen of Andor and present Daughter-Heir (if she didn't get herself killed). I kind of take him at his word but still, he is one of the best players in Daes Dae’mar and as a court bard he would have been looking for advantage. It’s only natural , same as Bryne. Bryne was a noble that served Morgase and even the purest noble in this series has had a little thought of bettering him/herself. Maybe not with marriage but some type of way. It’s not wrong or evil unless you become evil to get there but it is only natural to want to better yourself in some way and if you have the chance most will take it. Don't forget, Thom is thinking Bryne is of that opinion, the same as Gaebril probably thought...and we all know the truth about what Gaebril thought.
Hence the reason I said that about Tallanvor. He never asked, never made a move and was ready to step aside without putting himself forward when he believed she needed to marry for political reasons. And he loved her, wasn’t a lover.
109. Geelynn
Or maybe a Heinlein "Starship Troopers"?
Terry McNamee
110. macster
@81 alreadymad: LOL! I know you're just joking of course, but I do feel I should say it couldn't be, because I can't see Demandred allowing himself to be captured by the Shaido like that. (Or, for that matter, disguising himself as a woman.)

@82 JonathanLevy: *falls over laughing at the letter* Brilliant!

@84 birgit: Yes, but Isam is of the Shadow already so he doesn't have to be Compelled. I was referring to non-Shadow followers--all of Graendal's seem to be Compelled. Basically, I can't see a Whitecloak who actually believed in the Light and the Creator as fanatically as Byar seemed to being a Darkfriend. (Carridin doesn't count, he didn't believe any more than Niall did.) And if he wasn't one, the only way he could be working for Graendal is if she Compelled him.

@86 up2stuff: Interesting point, I like it.

@88 Iarvin: Good catch. And nice point as well...that would certainly explain both the burning heat, and why it doesn't harm Perrin himself.

@91 J.Dauro: Ah, I get it now. Yes, that does make sense. Then again a sash can be just a sash, a sign of her pettiness and elitism as others have stated, and we're reading too much into it due to Jordan training us to notice the tiniest of details and weight them with significance.

@97 Samadai: *sticks tongue out, as he is a bastion of maturity*

@98 snaggletoothedwoman: I'd forgotten about that moment; good thing I am about to get to it again when I continue my re-read of TFoH. As a further sign that we should be suspicious of her loyalties, two others who were never clear which side they were on had hardly any POVs--Verin had three in the whole series, Sorilea one. This is also Alliandre's only POV to date. I should also note that for most of the time since they left Bethel, Perrin's group was actually not that far from Ghealdan--Malden was in northern Altara, only recently have they strayed farther on their way back to Andor. And with the Prophet dead and his forces scattered, there's less need for her to get back to the capital. One would say she should be back there helping her advisors and the other nobles put Ghealdan back together, but I'm sure she'd say that her oath to Perrin and loyalty to him and Rand not only trump this but are a way to bring back stability.

Still...some very odd things. I'd like to believe she is what she seems, a ruler who even if she did it out of political expediency and fear for her personal safety did swear to Rand of her own free will (well, perhaps under ta'veren effect but the point is, not coerced or ordered or for duplicitous reasons). But part of me has to wonder and doubt.

@102 Ashenladoka: Well said, and a good quote.

@104 WOTman: True, but I am wary to write her off as a threat just yet. If she is a Darkfriend, there has to be a reason it's been kept hidden all this time. To appease thewindrose (*grins*), if Dyelin is a Darkfriend there's clearly a good reason to keep it hidden. So perhaps Alliandre may be able to do more damage than we think.

Side note: I wonder if anything interesting about her, whether her true affiliation or something else, will come out if and when the Black Tower contingent post-Taim's downfall meets up with the rest of the Light's forces. I.e., whether Logain knows Alliandre, or knows something about her. For that matter Cadsuane might, she was growing roses in Ghealdan for a number of years...
@109 Geelynn

I was thinking that too, but then I realized that Heinlein's military would never refer to their Apes as Elite.

As a side note, has anyone ever read John Steakley's - Armor? It's notable for its strong similarities to Starship Troopers. It is also a superior work, and I would go so far as to say that it's better than Troopers.

112. alreadymadwithdarkfriends
macster @110
Ya never know. :P

Seriously, all this looking for dark friends under every nook and cranny is counterproductive. It serves no purpose except to draw attention away from enjoying the narrative. So what if she does turn out to be one? What then? Even dark friends have their moments of awesome.

I'd just be better off waiting for the big reveal than trying to head the writers and editors off and theorizing how anybody and his mother could be dark friends. It's not like they're gonna walk out of the book and stab us in real life anyway.
William Carter
113. wcarter
In any case if everyone who had done something petty or jerkish in the series was automatically a darkfriend there wouldn't be anyone left on the side of the light.
*Mat acted like a tool the first two books (only partially excused by the dagger and his own lack of real world knowledge).
*Gwayn spent the better part of the series being a complete douche.
*All four supergirls have been petty and catty towards one another and other people, particularly when traveling for extended periods.
*There is Faile's and Perrins...treatment...of one another in the early to middle parts of TSR.
*Every. Single. Tarien and Carhienian noble with the exception of Lord Dobraine and 9/10 of the Andoran nobility has acted petty and balked or conspired against Rand or the other's plans no matter how reasonable.
*99.9% of Aes Sedi across all ajahs (and likely Ashaman and soliders too) are arrogant assholes who bully everyone around them. More than a few wouldn't save a dying child if they didn't think they could get something out of it.
*All whitecloaks. All of them.
*(For)Tuon(a)--on multiple occasions--though considering her society and upbringing, it's a minor miracle she doesn't kill puppies as a pasttime.

So if not going around actively thinking "I'm on Team Light" and maybe swiping a pretty blue silk dress from a scrap pile is enough to condemn Allaindre's soul to the Shadow, then Jedi-Rand is going to be awefully alone come Tarmon Gai'don.
Alice Arneson
115. Wetlandernw
Completely off topic - I put a picture of my daughter in The Dress (with the never-ending hem) on my profile. Unfortunately, you can't see just how much hem there is, because she was wearing her cloak over the dress. Shucks.
William Carter
116. wcarter
It's a rather nice costume Wetlandernw, you did a good job. On a side note I now have that thrice cursed melody running through my head.
I blame you and braid_tug for that. Thanks.
Now I think I'm going to go and concuss myself to try and get rid of it.
Alice Arneson
117. Wetlandernw
wcarter - I suggest "Baba Yetu" for removing the earworm. :)

I actually bribed a friend to make the dress this time, but I made the cloak & accessories. I just had to hem the dress... for hours.
118. Susurrin
Still, I agree - unless it was something about Byar, I don't see that a warning about DFs - even Valda or Asunawa - would be sufficiently relevant to warrant inclusion here. If it were something that dead-and-gone, I don't think it would even be mentioned in passing like this.
I could be way off base here, but didn't Verin have an interest in the Dark Prophecies? If so, perhaps she knows of something from one of those that is relayed to Galad in that letter, and will come into play in the last book?
Valentin M
119. ValMar
Wetlander, or anyone who knows, what is this about a shout-out from Brandon in Canada (I guess)? Very curious. I just had a peek on FB and didn't notice anything from his postings...
120. Syndar
Ok, I love this chapter, but there is one thing in it that drives me crazy, and its been a thing that's been driving me crazy in Brandon's writing for a couple of books now... "'Drink, son' Perrin said, voice soothing." Son? SON? Perrin's what, 26 or 27 at MOST? Lan and Tam do it a lot as well - Tam I don't mind so much, but with Lan and Perrin it bugs the crap out of me for some reason - maybe just because they've never used it before Brandon took over. Really nitpicky, I know, but addressing someone as "son" unless you're their parent just seems incredibly condescending to me.
Tricia Irish
121. Tektonica
Lovely costume, Wetlander! Your daughter is a doll. Loved the picture of you with Brandon too!
Roger Powell
122. forkroot
I believe it's referring to Brandon's comments to Humble Reader prior to addressing some questions from us re-readers.

"Armor" is an excellent book! I'm not sure I'd compare it directly to Starship Troopers because they are aiming at different targets (so to speak); obviously they are of the same sci-fi subgenre though.

Agreed. Wetlandernw's daughter is a real cutie-pie!
Valentin M
123. ValMar
forkroot, don't get it. Humble Reader? When googling it it comes up with palm reading crap...
Alice Arneson
124. Wetlandernw
ValMar - As forkroot said, HumbleReader did a transcript on the Chapter 2 thread about some questions he asked Brandon for us at Hal-Con last weekend. You're a no-spoiler person, right? So you wouldn't see it over there... When he identified himself as being from the WoT reread on tordotcom, Brandon said "So say Hi to Freelancer and Wetlander and all those folks for me." It was a fun conversation; he poked at us all several times. ("There are no little discussions there. I've dropped by before.")

There actually aren't any AMoL spoilers in that post, so if you want to read just that, it's @106.

Thanks for the compliments, y'all. I think she's pretty cute myself. :) And she LOVES that costume!

Tektonica - the pic with Brandon was from last year's Alloy of Law signing - it was a lot of fun. I had a whole list of questions from the rereaders here (as you may remember) and he was such a good sport about answering them all. This really fun guy named Andrew took the picture; after standing in line next to each other for an hour or so, he was cracking me up. The other picture he took was totally goofy; I've never had the nerve to let anyone else see it. I look like a complete dork. :)
Valentin M
125. ValMar
Thanks Wetlander. I am no-spoiler guy indeed, but I'll peek in to see that posts. I remember now the "Humble Reader" handle. Googling it... shakes head. It seems that we pester Brandon all across the world :)
Your daughter looks like cute little princess on this picture. Hm, isn't it time that little girls start dreaming of being Queens instead of Princesses? Maybe Maggy Thatcher and Angela Merkel aren't inspirational enough... What was I talking about?
William Carter
126. wcarter
That does seem to be a change, but I can sorta of see why Sanderson would bring it about. Nost characters in the series seen to be of the opinion that rank and/or experiance grants more senority than age.

Perrin has shown himself to feel that way in at least one other book:
I'm re-reading right now and am on The Shadow Rising. Perrin just hooked up with Wil Al'Seen and a few others, and he thought of Wil as a "boy" then reminds himself that Wil is actually a year older than him.

So maybe Perrin just does that.

That song did help. :)
127. Freelancer

Clearly you are referencing an entry I made in Wetlandernw's shoutbox. Brandon mentioning the two of us by our nicks when talking to HumbleReader and learning he was a Tordotcom Re-reader, that's the shoutout to which I referred (as quoted by Wetlandernw @124. It's nice to be remembered by anybody, but doubly cool by someone who has much better things to do than keep track of his fandom. Brandon just happens to be a very approachable and engaging dude who wants to enjoy time with those who read his work.

So, I high-fived Wetlandernw in a shout. And yes, Canada is the Great Blight.
Chris R
128. up2stuff
I thought most of us here would have been okay with "The SHORT, Short, version."

Perrin : "Do you?"
Lonestar Tallanvor "YES!"
Perrin : "Do you?"
Vespa Morgase"YES!"

Perrin : "Good! You're Married. Kiss' er!"
Roger Powell
129. forkroot
And yes, Canada is the Great Blight.
One of our own appears to be missing in that Great Blight. Hopefully we'll hear from subwoofer one of these days!
130. s'rEDIT
Late as usual.

Leigh . . . hope you feel better!

ZEXXES: Had to stop reading long enough to let you know about a fellow birdwatcher, that's me! And I don't know what it is about the food chain this year, but the hawks I see...mostly red tails, a few red shoulders, and every once in a while a Cooper's in town... out here in Central Coast, CA, seem abnormally aggressive this year.

I'll be back when I finish the rest of the comments.
Birgit F
131. birgit
*(For)Tuon(a)--on multiple occasions--though considering her society and upbringing, it's a minor miracle she doesn't kill puppies as a pasttime.

She does train damane for fun.
Rob Munnelly
132. RobMRobM
Spaceballs FTW. Well played, U2S. And Lini can be Dot Matrix.
Valentin M
133. ValMar
Freelancer @ 127

Yes, obviously that's where I saw the reference to the shout-out. It was a tantalising titbit about Brandon and this re-read. I couldn't find out more because it was on a thread I dare not thread... As directed by Wetlander I read HumbleReader's report there. Congrats to you both on the honourable mention!
As for Brandon, the guy is an absolute ace. How he interracts so affably and wittily with so many people for hours no end is amazing. And with every reader as if they are the first he's met that day.
Bill Reamy
134. BillinHI
Another completely off-topic: For all the Hobbit and LOTR fans (of which I know we have more than a few), here is the latest Air New Zealand safety video. Peter Jackson even makes a (very short) cameo. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCbPFHu3OOc

ETA: Guess tordotcom jimmied the link above, as it just goes to a blog archive. Here is the link as text:

Chris R
135. up2stuff
Leigh, meant to say earlier, I hope you feel better. I know you felt terrible.
Since so many of us were upset by Perrin's presiding of the wedding, I submit the following to sate everyones cravings.

"Mah-widge. Mah-widge is what bwings us togevah, today. Maw-widge, that bwessed awaingement, a dweam wivin a dweam."

I can't believe noone has referenced that. Leigh must have felt awful.
William Carter
136. wcarter
Westley: Did you say "I do"?
Buttercup: Uh, no. We sort of skipped that part.
Alice Arneson
137. Wetlandernw
Seriously? Two days with nary a comment? Even the crickets have deserted the place!

Of course, I obviously don't have anything to say either... ... ... ...

Candy corn & peanuts in the bunker!
Jay Dauro
138. J.Dauro
Real peanuts or those orange things?
Cameron Tucker
139. Loialson
Real of course.

I've got a few pans of fresh baked oatmeal chocolate chips, will bring some!
William Carter
140. wcarter
Obviously we were all in post Halloween diabetic comas over the weekend. That or I somehow managed to kill the conversation.

The only other possibility is that we are all highly popular, busy individuals. Following this line of infallable logic we were simply too busy entertaining our droves of adoring fans to spare time to share our brilliant insights with our fellow rereaders over the last two days.

Me? I'm going with option three because someone put a stop payment on my reality check (and I don't want it to have been my fault the conversations stalled).
Roger Powell
141. forkroot
someone put a stop payment on my reality check
Oooh - nice line. I am definitely going to steal that.
Alice Arneson
142. Wetlandernw
J.Dauro - Loialson's right - the REAL ones. Salted. Makes a great mix; with the protein, you don't feel so guilty, and with the salt to balance the sugar you can eat lots! ;)

Also: Cookies!

wcarter/forkroot - A totally steal-worthy line. I shall. And I'm definitely going with option 3.
Roger Powell
143. forkroot
OK - The mad scientist is at work again.

Just remember that "saidin" is pronounced "seye-DEEN", per the glossary.

You'll need to know this tomorrow.

{:: giggles insanely ::}
Deana Whitney
144. Braid_Tug
@ forkroot - does this mean we get to look forward to another poem? Yea!

@ wetlandernw - your daughter is very cute & I love the dress. Odd way of your school getting around the whole "people who hate Halloween" thing, but it works!
Sorry I got "that song" stuck in several people's head.

I'll bring cookies to the bunker with everyone else who's "reality check" is bouncing.
Roger Powell
145. forkroot
Actually I'm planning to ruin another song that some of you might like.

B'wah, hah, hah..........
Alice Arneson
146. Wetlandernw
Braid_Tug - It's not so much hating Halloween, as disliking what it has become. But since Luther posted his theses on October 31, 1517, and that was a very significant event in the reformation, it works as a more relevant (to us) celebration, and also helps with keeping the costuming appropriate to a Christian school. :)

Forkroot - do we get this while we're twitching in the morning, or after the new post comes up? Either way, I'm totally looking forward to it.
Roger Powell
147. forkroot
You'll get it with the new post, assuming Leigh covers at least two chapters - since it pertains to Chapter 46.
148. Iforget and am lazy
I can't wait until we can discuss Fortuona's Fabulous Dress
149. srEDIT
@120 Syndar: Perhaps you've never been exposed to the military? I believe an officer is always "sir" while the subordinate is "son" . . . no matter what the respective ages may be. As the head of such a large Army, I'm sure Perrin would always be the "sir" person while other, much older, men are "son" to him.
Evan Langlinais
150. Skwid
Whee! I got a re-read shout-out, if only obliquely! Glad you thought it was lovely!
William McDaniel
151. willmcd
I really enjoy the tie-backs to the first books of the series that were dropped in throughout TGS and ToM. In TGS we got to meet with the Seanchan at Falme, and Rand went to Mordin's Barbie dream house in T'A'R. Here we get a double-whammy of the badger motif, with Mat wanting to set it loose on the green and then it needed to be eased.

Speaking of throwbacks, I recall all of the Lord of the Rings shout-outs in TEotW, and had to wonder if we were seeing that again here. More specifically, I got a strong Eowyn/Faramir vibe off the Berelain/Galad meeting. Both Eowyn and Berelain are noblewomen who are brooding over having been jilted by one of the principal protagonists of the series, and they meet up with a noble knight-type character from one of the secondary tier of heroes (who himself is also feeling rather melancholy).

Where did Eowyn and Faramir meet up? Why, after a battle, in the Houses of Healing, of course. Where do Berelain and Galad meet up? After a battle, while tending to wounded soldiers.

It could be a coincidence. But it was a strong enough parallel that I thought about it, anyhow.

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